Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 14.djvu/409

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EDITOR'S TABLE.

human life and the earthly destiny of humanity, there was not a reference to the natural world as being in its existing order an embodiment of Divine wisdom, or entitled to the slightest serious consideration. In fact, the whole scheme of doctrine put forth was impliedly based upon the old assumption that Nature belongs to Satan, and deserves destruction as the embodiment of all sin. Dr. Brookes, of St. Louis, discussed the doctrine of the convention in relation to the fall of Adam and the universal curse that it entailed, saying, "From that day to this the curse has smitten the old and the young, the rich and the poor, the king and the peasant, the philosopher and the savage alike, and diffused its virulent poison through the whole system of Nature."

It is clear that a great deal is yet to be done before such enlightened opinions as those of Prof. Henry become accepted and assimilated in the religious world; and such conventions as this of the Second Adventists are extremely useful as indicating the amount of conscientious ignorance that has yet to be overcome before the scientific truths of Nature are even so much as recognized.

 

 

IMPROVED DOMESTIC ECONOMY.

The Princess Louisa received an address from a deputation of the Ladies' Educational Association of Montreal, and they got from her a very sensible reply. But what will the operators of our fashionable girls' schools and of our female colleges and normal schools say to the closing observation of this royal and court-bred lady, which was as follows: "May I venture to suggest the importance of giving special attention to the subject of domestic economy, which properly lies at the root of the highest life of every true woman?" This is a momentous truth; none the more true, of course, because uttered by a princess, but perhaps some will be induced to reflect upon it on account of the distinguished source from which it comes. For if what the princess here says is correct, our schools for the education of women are very far from what they should be. Domestic economy, in its full significance as a foundation of the highest life of woman, happens to be just the one particular thing which our female boarding-schools, colleges, and normal schools systematically avoid. They learn languages, and history, and algebra, and music, and many other fashionable things, but the science of domestic life and the art of home-making find no place in the feminine scheme of studies. Here and there a little attention is paid to it, but it nowhere has the rank and importance which is rightfully its due, and which this most sensible princess claims for it.

The term "domestic economy" has been hitherto used in so narrow and misleading a sense that there is considerable prejudice in regard to it. Its common implication is a mere improved mechanical housekeeping, or domestic drudgery made methodical, with a chief view to economy in home expenditures. The term has participated in the vulgarity that attaches to the menial and servile associations of the kitchen, so that little books upon domestic economy are thought the proper things to put into the hands of cooks and hireling housekeepers. But domestic economy, as something "which properly lies at the root of the highest life of every true woman," is a very different thing, implying culture and intelligence in the whole circle of home duties and responsibilities, and the consequent renovation and elevation of the domestic sphere. This view happily begins to be more clearly and widely appreciated. We have just read with great interest a lecture on scientific housekeeping delivered by Mrs. Arthur Bate before the Popular Science Society at Milwaukee College, which explains in an admirable